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Kickstart your nonprofit corporation

We've helped over 100,000 nonprofit organizations get started—let us help you form yours, too. As a nonprofit corporation, you can apply for grants, get 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status if eligible, and protect your assets.


Starts at $149 + filing fees. These costs are often tax deductible.

Why use Office In America to set up your nonprofit?

Get started in minutes

You can register your nonprofit organization in 3 easy steps with the leader in online business formation. We'll assemble your documents and file them directly with the Secretary of State.

Set it up right

Our tools offer step-by-step guidance to help you launch your nonprofit. We can file it with the state and apply for tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization at the same time.

Get the help you need

You get lifetime customer support and 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed. And we offer access to a network of attorneys to guide your launch and help your nonprofit grow.

How to start a nonprofit? -- It's easy! 

  1. Tell us your nonprofit name

  2. Answer some questions online

  3. We'll complete and file your paperwork

We can help you with the rest, too!

  • Get an EIN (Employer Identification Number)

  • File for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status

  • Obtain a list of required licenses

How to start nonprofit

What is a nonprofit?

Nonprofit organizations are groups organized for a good cause rather than for profit. None of a nonprofit organization's income is distributed to its members, directors, or officers.

What causes are eligible for a tax-exempt designation?

A nonprofit designation and a tax-exempt status are given only to nonprofit organizations that further certain causes. For example, organizations with religious, scientific, charitable, educational, literary, sports competition, cruelty-prevention, or public safety purposes would qualify.

Why start a nonprofit?

Get tax breaks

You're eligible to apply for state, federal, and other tax exemptions.

Apply for 501(c)(3) status

Contributions to certain types of qualifying nonprofits are tax deductible.

Protect your assets

Members and directors are shielded from personal liability for the nonprofit's actions.

How to start a nonprofit in 5 steps

1. Conduct a needs assessment

Describe your nonprofit's mission, strengths, weaknesses, and the need it will fill to determine how to serve your community.

2. Complete a market analysis

Plan outreach, fundraising, and volunteer support by analyzing the market opportunity.

3. Form your nonprofit

Make it official with a name, a business structure, filing with the state, and getting an EIN when you form your nonprofit with us.

4. Apply for tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit if eligible

Let us know if you'd like us to file your IRS application form for you.


Advantages and disadvantages of a nonprofit

Advantages of a nonprofit

  • Work on solving issues, creating change, and giving back

  • Obtain Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status if eligible

  • Qualify for certain government grants and loans

  • Accept tax-exempt funds from another nonprofit through fiscal sponsorship

  • Pay yourself a fair salary as part of operating expenses

Disadvantages of a nonprofit

  • Maintain records of donations, grants, funding, operational expenses, and finances

  • File an annual information return with the IRS to maintain your tax-exempt status

  • Stay compliant with bylaws that dictate how the nonprofit must be governed

  • Disclose salaries and finances for public inspection


What qualifies as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit?

The main requirements are to operate exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, or educational purposes (among others) and to file annual reports with the IRS.

What is a 501(c)(3) not allowed to do?

Organizations can lose their 501(c)(3) tax exempt status by distributing earnings to shareholders, engaging in political activity or substantial lobbying, or failing to pursue their stated charitable or other qualifying purpose.

What is the difference between a nonprofit and a 501(c)(3) organization?

Nonprofits are organized for purposes other than generating profit and they don't distribute any income to their shareholders. 501(c)(3) refers to a specific tax status in which an organization does not have to pay federal income tax and can accept tax-exempt donations from the public.




Nonprofit (without 501(c)(3) status)

Save time and money by not applying for tax-exempt status with the IRS.

Can't accept tax-deductible contributions or grants.

Pay federal taxes on earnings.

501(c)(3) organization

File annually with the IRS to document compliance for retaining tax-exempt status.

May collect tax-deductible donations and grants.

Earn income that is federally tax-exempt.

Undecided if you'd like us to file for 501(c)(3) status?

You can always start your nonprofit now and decide later if you want to apply for 501(c)(3) status

What is the difference between an LLC and a nonprofit corporation?

In most cases, nonprofits are formed as a corporation, but an LLC can also be a nonprofit. Incorporating helps protect your personal assets, builds credibility with potential donors, and unlocks funding reserved for officially formed nonprofit corporations.

Structure of nonprofit:

Requirements for starting:

How to be tax-exempt:

Nonprofit corporation

Operate within a rigid structure, including requirements for shareholders, directors, and managers.

Follow basic steps—choose a name, set up a board of directors, file incorporation documents, get an EIN, and obtain any licenses.

File Form 1023 with the IRS to apply for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3).

Nonprofit LLC

Choose an organizational structure that best fits your needs, with the flexibility to make changes.

Can be complicated—additional steps are required vs. starting a nonprofit corporation. Plus, nonprofit LLC's are not available in all states.

Elect for LLC to be taxed as a corporation. Then file Form 1023 with the IRS to apply for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3). Tax-exempt status is available only if all members of the nonprofit LLC are themselves 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations.

Why use Office In America to incorporate your business?

Kickstart in minutes

Incorporate your business in 3 easy steps with the industry leader in online business formation.

Set it up right

Attract and keep top talent by offering competitive benefits packages that include shares of your company.

Get the help you need

Our network of experienced professionals can guide your launch and help you grow.

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